Rosemary Turkey Meatballs with Honey are the perfect, most delectable, bite-sized hors d'oeuvre for a cocktail party. They're also fun to serve as a main course for dinner -- they can be served over mashed potatoes or pasta, with all sorts of tasty sides.
Good things come in small packages.
Maybe that's why I love small plates and little bites -- because yes, even with food, good things come in small packages.
Every bite of these Rosemary Turkey Meatballs has a touch of honey and a ton of flavor. They are over-the-top delicious, and I bet you won't be able to stop at a few, or a dozen. 😉
What's in this recipe?
- ground turkey
- fresh rosemary
- vermouth or sherry
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
Rosemary is such a delicious, aromatic herb to use fresh in recipes.
You'll find if you look around, it's quite commonly grown in residential neighborhoods. Perhaps in your yard? If not, maybe a neighbor's? I can't remember the last time I purchased fresh rosemary in a store.
Oh, and little goes a long way. This recipe has a little more than a tablespoon mixed into 1-pound of turkey, and you can really taste its earthy pine-like flavor, which is balanced so perfectly with the honey.
When and How to Serve Them
They're the perfect bite-sized hors d'oeuvre for a cocktail party.
Guests love them for part of a main course for dinner or lunch. They can be served over mashed potatoes or pasta, with all sorts of tasty sides.
These can be fun for any holiday dinner, and the touch of honey makes Rosemary Turkey Meatballs a dish people especially love for Rosh Hashanah.
- Gluten-free? Just use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- If you don't have vermouth or sherry, you can use white wine. One that's slightly sweet is best.
- Red onion will suffice if you don't have shallots.
- If you only have dried rosemary, use about 2 teaspoons of it, instead of the fresh.
What to Serve with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs:
A few delicious ideas . . . .
- Coconut Spiced Carrot Soup
- Meyer Lemon Thyme Spaghetti
- Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes
- Apricot Glazed Carrots
- Make Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Rosemary Turkey Meatballs with Honey
- olive oil for the pan
- ½ cup shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry vermouth or sherry
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Coat a large non-stick sauté pan with olive oil and place it over low-medium heat. Add the shallots, rosemary, and garlic. Cook just until the shallots are soft, about 4 minutes. Then add the vermouth or sherry, turn the heat to high, and reduce it completely. Mix in the honey and remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature. (Do not wash the pan!)
- Once the shallot mixture has cooled, in a large mixing bowl, add it to the turkey along with the breadcrumbs, salt, and a bit of pepper. Use your hands to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Shape the turkey into balls that are approximately 1 to 2-inches, placing them on a large plate or sheet pan as you work. (If you have a 1 ¼ to 1½-inch cookie scoop, that's prefect.)
- Drizzle more olive oil into the same pan, and place it over medium-low heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 3 minutes, just to brown the bottoms. Then turn the meatballs over, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Let them cook and steam for about 3 to 4 more minutes, just until they are cooked through.
Sounds good. Do you find that the breadcrumbs dry out the meatball at all? I will sometimes use stale bread, tear it up and soak it in milk or water, then wring it out and use that in place of breadcrumbs. Works well, especially for very lean ground meats.
Thanks for the comment, Jason. In this recipe the breadcrumbs don't dry out the meatballs. Interesting to soak breadcrumbs in milk. I have to give that a try. 🙂
It's an old Italian Grandmother trick - gives the meatballs a more velvety texture. Be sure to use stale bread chunks - not breadcrumbs; they'll just disintegrate.
finding it in your neighbors yard is called urban foraging! GREG
I'm an urban forager! 😉
Little hands make amazing recipes too! Love your masterpiece! keep sharing =)
Anna, I agree! I love cooking things my kids can easily help with!
These look delicious - I love the idea of having them as appetizers. And I also love that you're encouraging "urban foraging." 🙂
I'm new to your delicious recipes.
May I ask, however, why don't you give us 'nutrition facts' about your various recipes, i.e., carbs, sugar, vitamins, etc.? I've seen on other sites a box posted with such information. It would be extremely helpful.
BTW these Turkey Meatballs look so tempting and am looking forward to making them.
Hi there, thank you so much for your comment and for checking out my recipes!
I cook with fresh, whole foods, and try to be as health conscious as possible, and I believe (at least in terms of food), that most things are okay in moderation. So with that as my belief, and this not being a a blog about nutrition and diet, I've chosen just to include the calories, and not the whole nutrition chart. I'm sorry, as I do my best to please all of my readers. Hope you understand where I'm coming from. 🙂
Tried these last night. They are soooo delicious. I am on a strict diet right now and am trying to find creative, delicious foods that fit those restrictions. this hit the mark! I removed the breadcrumbs because I can't have, and it didn't seem to hurt. They were a bit less structured I suppose but were still wonderful. This will be a mainstay...regardless of diet!
Marla, I'm thrilled these were a hit! Thanks for sharing, and I'm so happy these worked around your restrictions! 🙂
Been using this fantastic recipe since 2014. I’ve always had access to lots of rosemary while slim on what to do with ground turkey. This recipe never fails as an app or main. I often substitute white onion for scallions.
Thank you so much for writing in and for the kind words. I'm so happy you've been loving this recipe for so long. Using the white onions sounds delicious. Hope you enjoyed the holiday. Stay safe and well and thanks again for being a loyal reader on my site. 🙂 ~Valentina
They are so tender and juicy! I have never thought of adding honey in meatballs and I must give it a try!
Thanks, Angie. I do hope you try them -- they're one of my all time favorites. 🙂 ~Valentina
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
I can make a whole meal out of just these meatballs! Our rosemary is growing really well now so it would be a perfect use for it! They look absolutely scrumptious, Valentina! Happy Monday 🙂
Happy Monday to you too, Dawn. Thanks so much. 🙂 ~Valentina
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
These look amazing! I love small bites of food too and these would be perfect to serve at a party. The rosemary add such great flavor!
Thanks so much, Kathy. Enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina
Sweet, savory and herbaceous - these turkey meatballs have it all, Valentina! What a fun meal or party app!
Thanks, Marissa!! 🙂 ~Valentina
Turkey mince has become easily available and very reasonable in price in Australia. Until now it has not reached great popularity in this house. But I really like your approach with rosemary, honey and sherry in my case. Oh, a mains protein for me perchance with brown herby rice and a salad or steamed baby bok choi . . . shall try soonest !
Hi Eha, I agree, would be delicious with brown rice and greens. Thanks for visiting and I hope you are safe and well! 🙂 ~Valentina
I've pinned these several times, I love the photos! They look so mouth-watering and I love the flavor combinations!! Thank you for the recipe!
Thank you, Kim. Hope you love them. 🙂 ~Valentina
Jeff the Chef
This looks fun. Sounds great. I think I'd love them over mashed potatoes, as you suggest.
Thanks, Jeff. Yesss to mashed potatoes. 🙂 ~Valentina
I would love muching on those meatballs endlessly, Yum!
Thank you! Hope you love them. 🙂 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
It really is crazy to see how big some of those rosemary bushes get! I tried once here, but it didn't survive the winter. I might try again this year, though, as I know some of our neighbors have had success with it. Either way, these meatballs sound fantastic! I love meatballs, and the honey addition here sounds quite delectable. Excellent recipe, my friend!
I love these! I love all of the ingredients in the meatballs. Do you use super lean ground turkey? Because I find it dry, no matter what I do to it.
Hi Mimi, Thank you. I try to get about 10% fat if I can. I agree, if it's too lean, it can be too dry. In this recipe the oil from cooking the onion mixture, and the honey help make them even more moist. Enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina
spiced meatballs with honey = sounds like a great combo.
Thank you, Priya! 🙂 ~Valentina
John / Kitchen Riffs
Just planted some rosemary, so soon I'll be able to harvest some and make this. 🙂 Terrific combo of flavors -- thanks.
Thanks so much, John. So great to have rosemary in the garden! 🙂 ~Valentina
Kelly | Foodtasia
Valentina, these turkey meatballs look wonderful! Love the flavors - especially the touch of honey - YUM!
Thanks, Kelly. Hope you love them. 🙂 ~Valentina
Of course, these are delicious. I love the way you used the skewers in out of focus forced perspective. Very creative photography. GREG
Thank you, Greg! Such a lovely comment from such an amazing photographer. 🙂 ~Valentina
David Scott Allen
Oddly, turkey is one of the very few things I do not have in my freezer right now. But I can imagine this will be just as good with ground chicken thighs. Like you, we love little bites. In fact, many nights for dinner, that’s what we do. One special thing like these meatballs, and then some cheeses, nuts, fruits… It makes it especially easy for nibbling while watching silly movies (which we all need a lot these days).
Thanks, David. I'm so with you on the silly movies!! My youngest son in really into horror films and generally darker movies and I can't take it. (Quarantine or not.) I'm always trying to get him to watch comedies or rom-coms with me. 🙂 ~Valentina
Delicious and easy recipe. I didn't make any changes, and I served it with scalloped potatoes and broccoli normandy. Thank you for this recipe!
Thanks so much for sharing, Val. I'm so happy you liked this recipe. And I bet they were so delicious with a bite of the potatoes and broccoli! Happy holiday season! 🙂 ~Valentina